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Yet reading Casanova's History doesn't make me feel so icky. Let's face it Jun 10, Realini rated it liked it. Casanova, inspired perhaps by the memoirs of Giacomo Casanova 8. Casanova was the ultimate serial seducer, the quintessential image of the man who benefits from his privileged position, taking advantage of women who most often, if not always, could not defend their honor or themselves from this Predator. And yet, Casanova, inspired perhaps by the memoirs of Giacomo Casanova 8. And yet, this romantic, comical look at some of the adventures of the serial lover proposes a different perspective.

First off, he may be redeemed and resurrected, brought from the dead - the realm of those without a heart - by In this sense,the motion picture can be educational. Indeed, there are some clever, amusing, witty exchanges between Casanova aka the formidable, late Heath Ledger and Francesca aka the talented Sienna Miller. Francesca is in fact the representative of the early feminist movement, as an energizing, strong, brave, driven, intelligent, fulminating, creative woman.

She not only talks with Casanova about the meaning of love,if we can call amorous affairs that involve only the senses, but she makes the hero Feel the real passion and admiration for her. There are a series of unfortunate, but also comical, events, for the Ultimate Lover is wanted by the authorities. The most dangerous of all is the representative of the Catholic Church, in Inquisition mood at the time, Pucci aka the Master Jeremy Irons.

Oliver Platt has a remarkable performance as Paprizzio, a magnate of lard, destined to marry Francesca and thus the one to ruin the plot for us Omid Djalili is outstanding as Lupo, the man servant of Casanova, a sort of court jester and Sancho, loyal, jocular and wise The rising standards of the age would probably send this romantic comedy in the 'accused' file, to be ignored by future generations Well, it is a pleasant feature, but not a historical achievement.

Aug 23, Lesley Truffle rated it it was amazing Shelves: classic-favorites. Casanova recorded his life as he lived it. It is one hell of a wild ride as Casanova practiced many professions including that of charlatan and gambler. He was at times a soldier, a spy, a preacher, a professional writer, a violinist, a silk manufacturer, a lottery director and an alchemist.

Casanova lived by his wits and considerable talents and as he spoke his mind, banishment and imprisonment became a regular part of his life. Casanova was the first prisoner to ever escape the notorious prison in Venice, The Leads.

My Life and Loves

He had been incarcerated there by the Venetian State Inquisitors. He found lovers in every social strata: servant girls, dancers, Countesses, shop girls, Duchesses and aristocrats in the courts of Europe. He accepted women as equals, made sure they were satisfied sexually and was non judgmental. Frequently his women preyed on his natural generosity and ruthlessly fleeced him. Was he the cold hearted seducer of his legend?

Occasionally he was but he was also an astute observer of character and the portraits he draws of his lovers are in the round. He brings them alive for the reader and it is their conversation and character that brings him to his knees and by his own admission makes him their dupe. Casanova had a wonderful sense of the ridiculous and is honest about his personal failings.

His pride frequently gets him into diabolical situations as he has the unfortunate habit of using his wit to rub his enemies up the wrong way. He was quick to draw his sword and pink those who had the temerity to insult him. Many of his dealings are dodgy and the reader gets the impression that Casanova isn't owning up to all the amoral things he has done for money. The chapters dealing with his fleecing of a gullible aristocrat are deliciously wicked. Some may find Casanova's memoirs a hard read but personally I find the complexity, intricate detail and humour an absolute delight.


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Oct 07, Shadira rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: f you are at all interested in history. Shelves: memoirs , fiction-literature-classics. Incredible, Insightful, Captivating Casanova's "History" is an enthralling portrait of himself, his times, and his conquests. It is written in a chatty yet elegant style that seems bent on seducing the reader too. What is immediately obvious here is that Casanova was no ordinary Lothario but truly esteemed women and yearned for their approval as much as for their bodies.

The memoir is also a priceless sketch of 18th life and mores, upper and lower Incredible, Insightful, Captivating The memoir is also a priceless sketch of 18th life and mores, upper and lower classes, and politics both great and small his book can't be recommended too highly. A child of the theater, he lives in the grey space between rich and poor.

When he sets out to make his way in the world he is armed with his wit, his charm, and his flexible sense of ethics. His adventures and misadventures take him from Venice to Rome to Greece to Turkey. He starts a career within the church, makes money as an alchemist, and delights in the life of a gambler. There is probably a lot to criticise in the behaviour of Casanova, but his charm even wins over the reader.

It is difficult to sit in judgement when he so cheerfully judges himself. There is something for nearly everyone in these two volumes. History readers will get an intimate look at manners of the 18th century. Fans of autobiography and memoir will find this one of the most interesting and extensive examples that they have read. Teenagers will relate to some very familiar scenes of youthful rebellion moments that have apparently changed very little in the past several hundred years.

Even the novel reader who does not normally read memoir should find that there is enough adventure and derring-do to keep the pages turning. The translation by Trask is clean and does not get in the way. This is worth reading in its entirety and I would personally skip the abridged version for the unabridged. My only complaint about the Johns Hopkins University Press Edition was that the notes for Volume I were in the middle of the book, and it would have been easier as the reader to have the notes for both volumes at the end.

Sep 02, Tereneh rated it really liked it. The one-dimensional view of Casanova does us as much a disservice to us - as it does the man. Given the limited view of the man I have no idea what made me pick this book up anyway. Reading the first few pages in that dusty used book store in NY, well I was hooked from the beginning.

Casanova is complex and hard to pin down, yes he is a slut but given the opportunity who among us wouldn't have anyone and everyone we desire? But he is more than that so very much more, seeing him develop as a man The one-dimensional view of Casanova does us as much a disservice to us - as it does the man. But he is more than that so very much more, seeing him develop as a man as a person and testing the various waters so to speak of life.

He is a philosopher, social commentator, epicurean, spiritualist and challenger of convention. And of course one of the best storytellers I have ever read. Discovering and deciding for himself what his life will be about, it is wonderful to read. Now does he actually like women? I don't mean like in the sexual sense that is obvious, but actually like women. My sense is he is still figuring it out in Volume Volume 2 ends abruptly and it was only then that discovered this edition has 10 Volumes.

So it looks like I have years of discovery of this singularly unique individual and masterful storyteller. Simply wonderful! Sep 07, Melmoth rated it it was amazing. The start of a long and incredible story of one of the most fascinating individuals I've ever had the pleasure of reading about.

It seems hard to image that pages can be interesting right the way through, but this is as much a page-turner as any modern bestseller. Casanova wrote these memoirs in old age, and at least once per chapter looks back melancholically on his past exploits while offering some more or less philosophical advice to his readers. Casanova was present at some of the major The start of a long and incredible story of one of the most fascinating individuals I've ever had the pleasure of reading about. Casanova was present at some of the major European historic events; such as the assassination attempt on Louis XV, the execution of his attacker, meetings with popes and members of the highest ranks of government.

Through the course of the story Casanova makes his fortune, goes bankrupt, regains a fortune and loses it all again. He falls in and out of love in the blink of an eye, and faced death more times than could possibly be imagined. However, he remains his own self at all times and throws himself into destiny, guided only by chance.

All I can say is read, read, read! May 11, Nora rated it really liked it Shelves: lit , nonfiction , class , romance , historical , espionage. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell. New York: Grove Press, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: This one is a glaring exception to that rule. Goldman's writing is engaging and interesting. This woman was involved in some serious stuff; it is amazing to read about all the radicals she worked with, how they lived their lives, how they related to one another.

I am enthralled by her descriptions of what it was like to speak to a roaring crowd of thousands - it makes me really, really miss the speech competitions I used to be involved in. But her life was also so much more than that of a radical activist - this woman loved, suffered heartbreak, faced physical torment, experienced familial strife, had to move around like crazy - there is so, so much to relate to.

I love reading her introspection regarding The Cause - can a true believer have outside interests? Should personal relationships and desires take a backseat to The Work? How do you work with people who are fighting for the same short-term goal, but with whom you have grave disagreements over the final project? What kinds of actions are appropriate for bringing about sweeping change? I do wish she gave a bit more theory about her beliefs, instead of just running through the historical occurrences, throwing out names and places and events and ideas like the reader is totally familiar with them.

What on earth is a single-taxer? Off to Wikipedia! I am not well-versed in anarchism as a philosophy, and this book doesn't do much of the leg-work for educating one about it. All in all, very pleased. I expected this to be a good "bed-time" book - something to read when I'm going to sleep cuz it'll make me feel all drowsy.

Who knew autobiography could be a page-turner? On to volume 2! Aug 29, Kathleen rated it really liked it Shelves: challenges , women-writers. It makes you want to grab hold of your own life and fight for what you believe. This is an immensely readable book. The writing is excellent. One of the things I most admired was the matter-of-fact tone she used, whether she was relaying her accomplishments or her mistakes. The story begins with her arrival in the United States in , shortly after the Haymarket riots in Chicago.

That event made a huge impact on her, and she walks us through the development of her philosophy and activism. We often fight against things, but how often do we fight for something, let alone for our ideal? What might we accomplish if we did? This volume ends with an attack by vigilantes in San Diego, her lover abducted and tortured, and death threats when she continues on to Seattle. Mar 13, Sarah rated it really liked it. EG is a total badass. Love her.

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Few people are as true to their convictions as she. A free spirit, an idealist, an intellectual, and a fighter, EG is a pretty good writer to boot. In her autobiography she not only chronicles the details of her polemic public life, but also intimately bares her internal struggles with the tensions and contradictions between her intellectual principles and her heartfelt emotions. It is sometimes hard to believe that this is not the stuff of fiction.

Shelves: feminism , politics , anarchism , memoirs. Goldman masterfully brings the period and her political activities to life, drawing even a critical reader in to the fascinating world of immigrant activism and agitation. Goldman made extensive use of letters and newspaper clippings, as well as other primary sources, to refresh her memory of dates and This book is Part One of a memoir of the "notorious" or famous Emma Goldman, a Russian-Jewish anarchist active in New York City and other parts of the US in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Goldman made extensive use of letters and newspaper clippings, as well as other primary sources, to refresh her memory of dates and specifics, which raises this above the level of most memoirs in terms of its value to the historian. Of course, it is told from the perspective of a participant with the benefit of hindsight, and thus is not strictly "objective," but this is arguably true of any source written after the fact.

In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 - Wikipedia

This volume follows Goldman from her political awakening at the age of seventeen in through about , when she was engaged in a speaking tour across the United States and hounded by violent patriotic "Vigilantes. With virtually no evidence against them, eight anarchists were tried for murder, and four executed.

This galvanized the radical community and became a symbol of the uneven struggle between Labor and its oppressors. Goldman describes her own anguish at hearing the news, and her drive to become involved in fighting the crimes of the State. In the process she met Johann Most, a disfigured German anarchist who advocated fighting back in the most uncompromising manner, Alexander Berkman, who would shoot the millionaire Frick in and spend much of his life in prison, and Ben Reitman, the "hobo doctor" who was the love of Goldman's life.

Goldman traces her coming into being as a political leader alongside her awakening sexuality and realization of sexism in the radical milieu of her day. This book is likely the source of Goldman's apocryphal quote: "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution! Considering the time at which she wrote, Goldman was quite frank about her lovers and her commitment to free love although by later standards she might appear rather discreet. Her insights into progressive, socialist, and labor politics are sharp and incisive, often foreshadowing failings that would haunt the Left to this day, and her descriptions of important historical figures she knew are colorful and fascinating.

This book is recommended for anyone with an interest in the developing politics of America or a love of history. Volume 1: Emma's turbulent life is spell binding. Her admirable determination and strong fighting spirit enabled her to travel about and lecture during the 20th century as an anarchist and feminist. She spent time in prison for her efforts and her strong beliefs. She tells her life story here, how she lectured wherever she could, when she could, in many parts of the world.

She dealt with a maize of stumbling blocks. Her fight for free speech was continual.


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Often her efforts were based Volume 1: Emma's turbulent life is spell binding. Often her efforts were based on goals such as raising funds to help victims of oppression. Her humanity is shown through the introduction of stories about her family, friends and associates who were a big part of her life. I am moving on to Vol. Sep 23, Torkel rated it it was amazing Shelves: biography , philosophy , economics , politics.

Great autobiography by an extraordinary woman. Not only a gripping read but also works as a great history book of early workers rights activism in the united states. Interesting how freedom of speech was so suppressed during this period end of and the beginning of Is also gives a picture of early 20th century international political history. Will definitely read Vol 2. Aug 09, Megan rated it really liked it Shelves: activism , favorites , politics , auto-biography.

Goldman's style is simple but compelling; I went out in search of the second volume immediately after finishing the first. The part I'd recommend Goldman's style is simple but compelling; I went out in search of the second volume immediately after finishing the first. The part I'd recommend for almost anyone is the enormous "chapter" well over pages in length in the second vlume on her time in Russia, not long after the revolution, under Lenin's rule.

It's fascinating on a number of levels: first, just for being a first-hand account of the beginnings of the Soviet Union; second, to see the personal process of someone coming to terms with the failure of their own knowledge, and of possible inconsistencies in their political ideologies especially in terms of the concepts of 'revolution' and international 'solidarity' , as Goldman turns from a staunch supporter of the Bolsheviki to an ardent critic; third, as an exploration of the idea of 'revolution' and what it is meant to achieve; fourth, as a chronicle of the psychology of resistance and submission under dictatorship; and last, as a critical view of the role of concentrated state power under socialism.

Beyond that, it's just engaging autobiographical writing. Dec 25, Artnoose McMoose rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: women in particular. When my friends and I go around in a circle and say how they got into anarchism, I say through this book. I read it when I first moved away to the big city, and it was the perfect book to read at that time. Changed my life, although would you believe I never did get around to reading volume 2? I had marveled at Emma's remarkable life when I was in my v When my friends and I go around in a circle and say how they got into anarchism, I say through this book.

I had marveled at Emma's remarkable life when I was in my very early 20s, how varied a life could be. Reading it now was a totally different experience now that I have had a lot more experience. I'm still amazed at the variety of things she did, and the amount of lovers she had. I'm comforted in the fact that she also had longstanding enemies and lived to tell the tale.

I mean heck she effin' horsewhipped Johann Most because of a disagreement, and he never spoke to her again! I'm not saying I'm as awesome as Emma Goldman, but reading this book a second time gave me the perspective of looking at a life as a narrative. Even really bad breakups don't even take up a whole chapter. Maybe later it'll all make a great story, and that's what I try to keep in mind when everything seems terrible. Jan 20, Maud rated it it was amazing.

EG is truly an inspiration, as well as a good writer. It's a long book and full of every detail but she keeps yr interest with her bold, clear narrative voice - i assume the same compelling voice that swayed many of her contemporaries at her lectures. EG is still a somewhat divisive character and, surprisingly to me, not so well known to everyone but you can't doubt the strength or beauty of her ideals.

My Life and Loves

Autobiographies can sometimes feel a bit fake and untrustworthy but there even seemed to be a fairness in her ability to criticize herself. I'm going to take a break before moving on to Volume 2 of her autobiography, just because it's so dense, but i relish in having read this first volume.

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I hope i can take some of her bravery, determination and compassion with me moving forward. Highly, highly recommended - it is especially important to read the words of people we so often only learn of secondhand. May 25, Julian rated it really liked it. I can't believe it took me so long to read this given that I love autobiographies and this one is regarded as such a classic. Maybe the length of Emma's work made me apprehensive.